Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Crossway #Review: Christian Guides to the Classics; Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter by Leland Ryken #grow4christ

on October 19, 2013

About the Book:  

We’ve all heard about the classics and assume they’re great. Some of us have even read them on our own. But for those of us who remain a bit intimidated or simply want to get more out of our reading, Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics are here to help.

In these short guidebooks, popular professor, author, and literary expert Leland Ryken takes you through some of the greatest literature in history while answering your questions along the way.

Each book:

  • Includes an introduction to the author and work
  • Explains the cultural context
  • Incorporates published criticism
  • Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
  • Defines key literary terms
  • Lists resources for further study
  • Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview

This guide opens up the signature book of American literature, Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, and unpacks its universal themes of sin, guilt, and redemption.

You can buy the book at Crossway ($5.99 print) or Amazon ($3.99 e-book).

My Opinion:

A little while ago I wrote a post about being careful what we and our children put into our brains – you can read Be Careful Little Eyes again if you’d like.  As a Christian who read The Scarlet Letter as a non-Christian I thoroughly enjoyed it and after having read through Christian Guides to the Classics: Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter makes me want to re-read it as a Christian with a Christian worldview and the aid of this book next to it.  I don’t believe that Christian’s should be afraid of the Classics – there is much to be learned from The Scarlet Letter and I’m interested in one of the new ones due out next year, Great Expectations.  In less than 80 pages this book will give the reader an understanding of The Scarlet Letter from a Christian worldview – chapter by chapter.

Christian themes and morality weave themselves through out the story that Hawthorne wrote and if one writes off the book because it deals with an unwed mother, adultery and other sordid details has actually missed the whole point of the book.  Leland Ryken also points out some misconceptions about The Scarlet Letter, one of which is that adultery is a running theme through out (I won’t give spoilers as to why it’s a misconception though).  Thoroughly researched and meticulous details are given through out the book that gives the Christian reader much to think about as they read or re-read this classic book written in 1850 containing 250 pages and for that I appreciate as we must see what Hawthorne really meant as he wrote this book.

(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


One response to “Crossway #Review: Christian Guides to the Classics; Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter by Leland Ryken #grow4christ

  1. Oh, I am quite intrigued…

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